Certificate in Animal Husbandry

Learn to farm different types of livestock. Useful for better farm management or to improve your job and career opportunities.

Course CodeVAG012
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours

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The Certificate in Animal Husbandry is an entry level course suitable for students who wish to gain knowledge related to companion animals and livestock.

The qualification consists of 600 hours of study divided into core and elective modules of study.

Core studies include the study of animal anatomy and physiology, animal health care, and animal feed and nutrition. Elective units are chosen to direct studies toward the students area of interest.

Elective units may include Horse Care I, II and III; Animal Breeding; Dairy Cattle; Beef Cattle; Pigs; Calf Rearing; Sheep; Goats, Dog Care, Cat Care, Wildlife Management, Recognising Animal Diseases; and Natural Animal Health Care. See the more complete list following.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Certificate in Animal Husbandry.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I) BAG101
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 3 of the following 21 modules.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Dog Care BAG105
 Domestic Cat Care BAG107
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Pet Care AAG100
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Calf Rearing BAG207
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Goat Production BAG223
 Horse Care II BAG204
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Wildlife Management BEN205
 Animal Breeding BAG301
 Horse Care III BAG302

Note that each module in the Certificate in Animal Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


  • The aim of the course is to prepare students for employment in animal related industries such as vet assistants,livestock workers, animal control workers or the RSPCA volunteers, by providing them with knowledge and skills related to the care and well being of animals.

What You Will Do

  • Learn to care for the health of any type of animal and understand the scope of services offered by animal care services, including in veterinary practices.
  • Learn to assess animal health, explain a variety of conditions and identify appropriate treatments or responses to a range of more common complaints or illnesses.
  • Explain the role of proteins, vitamins and minerals in animal diets.
  • Understand the composition of a range of feeds, including pasture, fodder crops, grasses, cereals, seed, and other edible plants
  • Plan and implement animal breeding programs using genetic theory, practical applications to daily husbandry practice, and management of animal breeding programs.
  • Develop a sound foundation knowledge of animal anatomy and physiology as a basis to understanding the care and management of animals.
  • Develop appropriate procedures to manage grazing animals
  • Develop timetables for husbandry tasks to be undertaken over a typical week when caring for a specific breeds of animals
  • Discuss the general principles of animal care, as they relate to a wide range of different types of animals.

Work Possibilities

Working with animals today involves far more opportunities than what they once were.
Animal industries embrace diverse areas of employment including, conservation, pet industries, pest control, farming, and much more.
The following are just a few thoughts as to the scope and nature of working with animals.

Health Care for Domestic Animals

It is generally accepted that domesticated animals should be provided with proper veterinary care. When an animal is in a veterinary clinic or hospital, or under the care of an animal nurse, vet, this should involve the following:

  •  Daily inspection and evaluation of the animals health and welfare.
  • Providing/ensuring appropriate care. (ie. This may involve accommodation, feeding, grooming etc).
  • Addressing any injuries or disease. (This may involve appropriate techniques of diagnosis, prevention, control and treatment).
  • Monitoring/delivering surgery and post surgical services.
  • Proper use and/or handling.  This may involve advising owners, and/or ensuring veterinary staff use appropriate measures for handling, immobilising, anethesising, administering pharmaceuticals, or euthanasia.

Pet Shop Work

Pet stores are like any other shop, a retail outlet for products. To be a successful pet shop owner, manager or employee, you need to be able to sell merchandise, from pet food and toys to cages, fish tanks, leashes and the pets themselves. Obviously you need to know about caring for different animals in order to keep the animals you are selling in good condition; and advise customers on the products they might buy.  Some pet shops may be more caring for the animals than others.  Some pet shops (or departments in other stores) may sell non living products that relate to pets; without selling the actual pets. Some pet shops specialize in the type of pets they sell (eg. An Dog or Aquarium shop).

Working in an Animal Shelter

Animal shelters may be either run by government (eg. A municipal council), or a community organisation such as a charity. They may undertake some or all of the following tasks:

  • Animal rescue of abandoned, mistreated or injured animals
  • Controlling stray or feral animals
  • Licensing or registration of domestic animals
  • Enforcing laws relating to animals
  • Relocation of abandoned animals through adoption programs
  • Relocation of wild animals
  • Euthanasia and disposal of dead animals
A lot of the work involves dealing with the public This may include people who have mistreated animals, others  who are regretfully in a position that requires them to surrender their animals; the general public who report strays or nuisance animals, and people visiting the shelter to register pets.
Part of the work also involves caring for animals (feeding, watering, exercising and grooming), ans part is dealing with administrative tasks behind a computer or desk.

Working with Wildlife

People working with wildlife always appear to ‘love’ their job even though parts of it may be physically demanding and sometimes dirty work. Being in contact with wildlife and having the opportunity to educate others on the conservation importance of these animals is for some people a dream job. In order to work in the Wildlife Education and Interpretation sector you do not necessarily require a degree or qualification, although it does help.

Some people start volunteering with Wildlife Parks or National Parks guiding tours or caring for wildlife. After gaining the skills and knowledge during volunteering they may obtain paid work. If one wishes to progress further once having obtained a job in this field further study may be necessary. For example, most people working in Wildlife Parks have some kind of qualification in animal husbandry or wildlife handling and care.

Job opportunities in wildlife education, and interpretation:

  • Wildlife Education Officer
  • Tour Guide
  • Wildlife Keepers
  • Show Presenters
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Wildlife Carer
  • Teacher
  • Writer, broadcaster, film maker
  • Research Assistant

Where wildlife officers work?

  • Zoos and Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries
  • Veterinary Surgery/Animal Hospital
  • National Parks, Wilderness areas
  • Animal Welfare Leagues or Refuges
  • Research Centres

This Can be Your first Step toward an Exciting Future

To be successful working with animals, you need not only knowledge, but also passion, persistence and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.

This course can give you the knowledge and raise your awareness of industry. When you know and understand animals and their care; you have an enhanced ability to communicate with people who work on farms, zoos and in the pet industry; and your capacity to connect with others in the industry, and find opportunities for business or employment will be enhanced.

Use our free course counselling service to design your study pathway.

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Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand
Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert. For several years, Cheryl managed the distance
Alison Pearce

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students. She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu
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